Soirees and Such
We could hardly contain ourselves when we got word that Next Generation.TV’s Allen West and Michelle Fields would be the stars at an upcoming happy hour. Apparently neither could The Daily Caller‘s editor and columnist Christopher Bedford, who forwarded the party notice to colleagues, adding, “Allen West happy hour on Thursday. Word is you might get to meet Michelle Fields.”
Bedford’s remark might be tongue-in-cheek since Fields was fired from The Daily Caller in late August of 2012 for a lack in production. She still has friends there, however, notably, Jamie Weinstein (wink! wink!). Fields’ focus has always been on getting herself on TV, not writing stories.
The soirée is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday in Sonoma’s private dining room on Capitol Hill.
Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch fucking hate each other. Put them in the same air space and you’re likely to hear them discuss their persisting feelings of blind rage for each other. Without even a trace of a smile, Gillespie, dressed head to toe in his signature black frock, explains the dynamic between the two. “We have a tight relationship that usually ends in physical violence,” he says.
Welch, who is editor-in-chief of the magazine, casts a weary glance in Gillespie’s direction: “He’s from New Jersey.”
The editors of Reason Magazine, Reason.com and Reason TV flaunted their hatred Wednesday night at a party in the company newsroom off Dupont Circle to celebrate the mag’s 45-year anniversary. The scene wasn’t raucous. It was peaceful, pleasant and a rarity in Washington parties in that you could breathe, hear and get a drink easily.
One senses that the above scene between Gillespie and Welch has played out in variations before. No less funny, whatever the case. Gillespie, who edits the online publication and Reason TV, has been at Reason for 19 years. Welch, since 2002. “I took two years off for bad behavior at the LA Times,” says Welch.
When I bring up their searing hatred to another employee, it’s explained that they couldn’t possibly have that much friction between them — Gillespie spends a portion of the month in Ohio, where his kids live, and Welch moved to Brooklyn a year ago, but visits D.C. often.
Weave around the newsroom and there is a relaxed vibe along with a mix of various accented employees. A week old intern with spiky hair and English accent greets us outside. Ahh…he’s Guy Bentley, the greeter and the guy whose key fob card is letting guests upstairs. “Great, fantastic, really well,” he says, when asked how his internship is going. “UK is a little depressing,” he adds, explaining that he wants to move to the United States. He says he would’ve been here a week early but for a visa issue.
Later on we run into Guy again who’s chatting with another intern named Zenon Evans. He’s blond, sort of exotic looking and in red trousers. Maybe we were duped by the British intern, thinking all their interns are from around the world. “Where are you from?” we ask. Clearly expecting him to say Sweden or Munich, he says, “Cleveland.”
Our faces fell as we dipped into complete and utter disappointment. Who comes to a Reason party to encounter an intern from Cleveland? (Only kidding, Zenon.) “I love writing,” he says. “I’m dedicated to the libertarian cause. I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something.”
Reason‘s newsroom is unique in that there is a glass-encased fishbowl of a room plopped in the center. It apparently has poor acoustics and who wants to be on display like a fish with everyone pointing? Nonetheless, it’s a unique place to chat and tonight it’s where the cuisine — a low-key mix of wraps, vegetable platters and such — is situated.
It’s here in the fishbowl where we bump into Matthew Feeney, a British (we think) accented assistant editor. He was born in Scotland, but his parents are from England and New Zealand so his accent is all fucked up. Asked what his pet peeve as an editor is, he replies, “Not for the record.” (Seriously. A softball question to end all softball questions and he can’t say on the record what his editorial pet peeve is? We make fun of him to his face about it, but eventually let it go.) Here’s what he will tell us. Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with sex or violence. “I’ve been working here since May. I enjoy my colleagues and the freedom to write about what I want, when I want.” Don’t mess with this guy! He’ll kick your ass.
By far the weirdest thing in the newsroom is the male pants-less mannequin located by the bar in the main newsroom. It’s showing off the black Reason T-shirt. (See it after the jump…)
In the back of the office is a library complete with a gargoyle and skeleton head. The library is the place where journalists go to “think great thoughts,” Gillespie explains. It’s just outside the library that we meet Preston Cornish. What kind of a name is this? We have no idea, but he seems to be a solid American. He manages the business advisory council for Reason. Like Feeney, he loves his colleagues, but he doesn’t own any Reason apparel. “It’s a great group of people who are committed to advancing freedom,” he says. “We punch above our weight.”
Somehow we get into the topic of cussing in the newsroom. “First time I heard ‘bloody f–ing c-word’ at 10 a.m. I was like, ‘alright mate,’” said Cornish. (By the way, “c–t” in England isn’t nearly as bad as it is here.) He glances at Feeney, who is apparently a pretty foul-mouthed bloke.
Spotted in the crowd… Read more
WaPo‘s internal memos can be a hoot.
Today The Washington Post launches its Wine Club. To celebrate, they’re inviting employees to a wine tasting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The party takes place at the “New Ventures space” or “4th Floor Lennox” where workers will be able to sample wines from the publication’s first shipment.
Our favorite line: “Please check with your supervisor before attending.”
What are they, 12? We think employees are responsible enough to decide if they can attend, don’t you?
As a perk… Read more
Bob Schieffer was almost unrecognizable Saturday afternoon as he sat on the patio of the Occidental Grill.
Not dressed in his usual dark suit he wears on the set of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Schieffer was sporting a white cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses as he sat sipping beer and chatting. He wasn’t there to discuss the latest political stories or moderate a debate, but was instead getting ready for a different kind of gig. His band, Honky Tonk Confidential, was prepping to play for a crowd at the restaurant’s BBQ, Beer & Bourbon event.
Matt Baker, chef de cuisine at the Occidental Grill, said the first annual event was a way of kicking off summer. Being Texas born and bred, Baker said he wanted to incorporate food from back home. And since Schieffer is also from the Lone Star State, Baker said he thought his band, which plays music straight out of Texas, would fit in perfectly.
“I’m from Texas,” Baker said. “I just really wanted to bring Texas to D.C.”
Schieffer began playing with the band in 2006 and sang songs he wrote, such as “TV Anchorman,” and a few covers, such as “Friends in Low Place” by Garth Brooks. With his Texas-sized belt buckle, Schieffer seemed at home behind the microphone as he told the story behind each of the songs. Read more
Erin Pettit is a glaciologist. Indeed, that means she studies glaciers.
But she’s not on an ice sheet in Antarctica or a glacier in Alaska. Instead, she’s inside the National Building Museum enjoying a glass of wine, which she says is “excellent.” Pettit is one of the many National Geographic “explorers” who was honored at the Explorer’s Symposium and Gala Thursday night, which coincided with the organization’s 125-year anniversary.
Special awards were presented to James Cameron, Alex Trebek, BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, philanthropist Howard Buffet and oceanographer Sylvia Earle.
Pettit said the event was “pretty amazing” because all the other explorers there had crazy ideas that they pursued, like herself. After designing hybrid cars for three years, Pettit moved on to study glaciers and has recently began researching a method that uses acoustics.
“I’m one of those people who has crazy ideas in my head all the time,” Pettit said.
Baumgartner is another one of those people with crazy ideas. In October of last year, he set the world record for skydiving when he jumped from 24 miles above the Earth and was the first human to break the sound barrier in free fall.
At the event’s reception Thursday night, however, Baumgartner had both feet on the ground, wearing a tuxedo instead of the Red Bull plastered flight suit he wore when he jumped to fame as he sipped on some type of blue drink.
“It’s cool, it’s very refreshing,” Baumgartner said of the beverage.
The rest of the crowd was also in tuxes and elegant gowns.
The organization even served its own wine, “Ocean Reserve,” and had a model of the submarine that Cameron used when diving to the deepest place on Earth, the Mariana Trench, along with plenty of drinks and a massive bar.
Once a year for the past three years, female TV news personalities have come together to wear pink and raise money for a local deserving cause. They call themselves “newsbabes.”
This year the charity group will host its annual Bash for Breast Cancer on June 27, and organizers are expecting it to be the biggest event yet. The fundraiser will be at The Hamilton and will raise money for Howard University Cancer Center, which specializes in research and prevention of cancer among minorities.
We know they say not to look a gift horse in the mouth. But we’re going to today as we sift through the heaviest TIME-People gift bag to date. And actually, we’re going to also highly praise the picking powers that be as we name the 5 best, 5 weirdest and 5 most useful items in the bag. Let’s get the weirdest over with shall we?
1. Heavy-ass granola. Seriously, this is what’s weighing down the bag and is going to slip the disc in my back? This stuff is called “Purely Elizabeth” and it’s made with organic quinoa, amaranth + chia (yum). It’s gluten-free, vegan and free of refined sugar. We can hardly wait.
2. GoGo Sequeez apple-grape applesauce on the go. It looks like two very strange, wide, tubes of toothpaste in a burlap bag, only it’s applesauce. Why do I want applesauce on the go? Or the go-go, I should say. Of course it’s gluten, nut and dairy free.
3. NeuroBLISS lightly carbonated drink, astonishingly heavier than the granola. It’s meant to de-stress. They write, “Deadlines have you stressed? On the campaign trail. Covering the economic crisis. It’s not always easy to follow your bliss. But with NeuroBLISS, it’s as simple as taking a sip.” Ingredients: L-theanine, chamomile. They say it “enhances mood and promotes a positive outlook — no matter what’s happening on the Hill.”
4. Happy Socks — maybe some of the ugliest socks you’ve ever seen that you should only wear in the confines of your home. Made in Sweden, they’re apparently popular and sold in “close to 50 countries.” Above all, they’re meant to spread happiness.
5. Jelly Mousse, a natural hair gel that’s supposed to help the “overtired and cranky.” Hey, we’re noticing a theme here. (Says, “takes you from cranky to sweet.”) Ingredients: Alcohol free, Roman Chamomile (I’d try this for this ingredient alone.) In a weird twist, they add a “mommy-tip” which is that this goop can also be used to add volume. Just add a dollop and blow dry.
1. Schick Hydro 5 disposable razors. They look like they’re for men, but a woman could probable get away with using them. We’ll assume the Edge gel shaving cream is a companion item.
2. It’s a tie. USB to mini USB cable and Supersmile whitening toothpaste. We really couldn’t pick on this one, but if there was a gun to my head I’d take the whitening toothpaste.
3. Jason Vitamin E moisturizing cream. The smell is thankfully neutral; the texture, rich and substantial.
4. Sleek, simple metallic slider case for the iPhone5. Durable hardshell construction, complete edge and corner protection. What’s not to like?
5. Hawaiian sunscreen spf 45 by Alba. Smells beachy and wonderful.
And now, the best… Read more
While the Radio/TV Correspondents Dinner is typically a quieter affair than the White House Correspondents Dinner, they’ve stepped up their game this year. The event, which takes place June 5th at the National Building Museum, will be catered by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. The RTCA Dinner has traditionally been held in the Washington Convention Center in past years, so it appears they are making an attempt to evolve and reclaim some of the prestige that the WHCD is known for. Let’s hope not too much.
From the release: “All guests will be encouraged to grab their white handkerchiefs, beads, masks and parasols that will be on every table and join in as they swing through the crowd.” They are expecting some 1500 guests — journalists, newsmakers and lawmakers.
Traditional New Orlean’s jazz pianist, Washington DC native and longtime New Orleans resident John Royen will entertain. They’ll also crown a King or Queen of the Dinner. They’ll be presented with a cape, crown and Jester Staff and asked to lead the crowd to the after-party at the conclusion of the night. We have no idea what this could mean, but they’ll have two Jesters on hand creating mischief throughout the dinner.
The theme will be “Laissez les bons temps rouler ” – Let the Good Times Roll – New Orleans style.” It will feature dancing, masks, beads, although hopefully, no one will have to take their top off to obtain them.
A hush fell over the crowd at Politico‘s Sunday brunch at Robert and Elena Allbritton‘s home as a display of food came crashing to the ground outside under a tent. No one was standing near enough to be responsible, so it doesn’t look like they’ll be adding any guidelines about idiot party tricks at the boss’s house to the next iteration of their office handbook.
Party sources tell us the fallen food was a display of various Asian cuisine — dumplings, etc, that crashed to the floor. “Nobody laughed, it was more like a collective gasp because it was so loud and shattery-sounding in such genteel surroundings,” a party witness told us.
After the display fell, a small phalanx of capable young women with earpieces swarmed and had it taken care of immediately.
Brunch was saved!
Speaking of which, the food is always a highlight: sliders, different kinds of eggs benedict made to order, cones of tuna tartare, an assortment dumplings, lobster tails, crab legs — all kinds of seafood, and an open bar.
Guests spilled out onto the lawn.
According to our party sources, brunch at the Allbrittons was definitely more crowded this year.
All the big Politicos were there… Read more